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Tajikistan is tightly controlled by President Emomali Rahmon and a complex system of patronage and political repression are the hallmarks of his rule. The government’s elimination of moderate Islamic opposition risks creating an opening for violent jihadists and the country faces growing instability along its southern border with conflict-plagued Afghanistan. Through field research, analytical reports and advocacy, Crisis Group aims to mitigate Tajikistan’s internal and external threats and inform national and regional stakeholders about the risk of political instability and radicalisation in the face of government policies.

CrisisWatch Tajikistan

Unchanged Situation

Police 3 Aug reported detention of suspected ringleader of group behind 29 July attack which killed four foreign cyclists, and killing of four other suspects, during police operation night following attack; claimed all five suspects were members of banned Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan, despite release by Islamic State (ISIS) of video showing the five swearing allegiance to ISIS. Two Tajik foresters reported killed in shooting along border with Afghanistan 26 Aug; Afghan authorities next day reported eight suspected Taliban killed in airstrike along border in Darqad district. Journalist Hairullo Mirsaidov, jailed for twelve years in July for charges he said were baseless, was freed 22 Aug. President Rahmon 17 Aug travelled to Uzbekistan, first such visit in seventeen years; signed strategic partnership agreement among others. Rahmon 24 Aug attended meeting of Central Asian leaders in Turkmenistan to discuss environmental degradation of Aral Sea (see Turkmenistan).

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Report / Europe & Central Asia

Water Pressures in Central Asia

Growing tensions in the Ferghana Valley are exacerbated by disputes over shared water resources. To address this, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan urgently need to step back from using water or energy as a coercive tool and focus on reaching a series of modest, bilateral agreements, pending comprehensive resolution of this serious problem.

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